The Bike Shed is a community organisation that believes bicycles are a vehicle for social change. To achieve this, the Bike Shed has five main aims, which are: be a central hub for bicycle recycling, educate and empower, maintain financial sustainability, build community and participate in advocacy and activism.
Central hub for bicycle recycling – as the oldest community bike shed in Melbourne, we are a central hub for bicycle recycling. We receive many donated bicycles and parts from the community and bike shops each week. These are fixed, sold, recycled and redistributed by volunteers who become part of our Bike Shed community. We leverage off this existing identity as a sustainable organisation and continue to build new relationships which will allow our organisation to grow.
Educate and empower – our aim at the Bike Shed is to teach people the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to repair and maintain bicycles. We aim to do this in a number of different ways, with different groups:
- 1. Volunteers
By working on bikes at the Bike Shed, volunteers gain access to the knowledge of those more experienced as well as the tools at the shed. We teach them how to fix bicycles, and impart them with mechanical skills, self-sufficiency, problem-solving skills, sustainable practices and leadership skills as they become more experienced. This is also achieved through a series of formal training courses offered through the Bike Shed.
- 2. Members
Through a booking system, members will be provided with a community stand, where volunteers will work with members on their bikes and share their knowledge and expertise.
- 3. Public
The Bike Shed will offer various courses to the public for an affordable cost. This will include a beginner, intermediate, and advanced course. These courses will be a form of community outreach.
Financial sustainability – as a not-for-profit, our aim is to find sustainable ways to generate revenue for the Bike Shed to meet its ongoing running costs and grow sustainably. Any money made is used to fund the organisation and its activities which includes: various bicycle-related events, supporting volunteers, paying our rent and wages, purchasing tools and consumables, improving our working environment and larger infrastructure projects.
Build community – the Bike Shed is more than just a place to fix your bicycle or learn about mechanics. We are a community of like-minded people who want to improve the world. The Bike Shed offers an opportunity to develop a sense of belonging by hosting a diverse group of individuals while working towards a broader goal. Without a strong community, the Bike Shed cannot function.
Advocacy and Activism – at its heart, the Bike Shed seeks to create social change. We are an organisation which strives to educate and empower people to fix bikes with the hope that this will encourage more people to ride their bicycles; the most sustainable form of transportation. This also requires broader changes within society, including more funding for bicycle infrastructure, acceptance of bicycles as a legitimate form of transportation, and increased awareness of the mental and physical benefits of cycling. The shed aims to work with other organisations and groups who are advocating for these changes within society.